there is a great need for more ethnically diverse
donors to join the registry to improve the chances
of a patient battling a life-threatening blood disease
to find a cure.
“Finding a blood stem cell match is more
complex than matching blood type, it is urgent that
as many healthy individuals as possible join the
registry,” shares Sevilla. “A bone marrow transplant
from an unrelated donor is like searching for a
genetic twin – so if a donor matches a patient, they
may be their only hope for a second chance at life.”
The Be The Match Registry® is the world’s
largest and most diverse donor registry. With more
than 20 million potential blood stem cell donors and
more than 295,000 cord blood units on the Be The
Match Registry, the organization provides patients
with access to more than 33 million potential
donors and more than 765,000 umbilical cord blood
units on U.S. and global registries.
More than 1.7 million new potential donors
were added to the Be The Match Registry in 2018,
of which more than 525,000 were recruited in the
United States. Thirty one percent—more than
161,000 — of the potential donors who joined the
Be The Match Registry in 2018 were ethnically diverse.
Briana met her two donors, Fernando and Jose, at a Be The Match’s
Council Meeting in 2016.
In March 2015, Donis
received her second transplant.
Radiation therapy was increased
and other complications arised.
However, everything seemed to
fall into place as time went by.
“My body was done,”
she shares. “I felt I was
microwaved. I couldn’t get out
of bed, I had fevers all the time, but now I feel great
that the second transplant worked.”
Not only did Donis lose her hair during the
process, she was distraught she was not going to
be able to start college like her friends did.
It’s been a long journey of recovery for Donis
and today she proudly walks the halls of the
University of Texas at Austin as a third-year
college student. Doing what is best for her body,
working out and having a positive mindset is how
she lives her life.
Briana five years post-transplant, happy and
22 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol . 25, No. 3, 2019